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Spotlight: Big Things-Small Packages

The phrase, "Little things come in small packages", is typically used more as a defensive line to ward off criticism or some other negative comment about a person's size. It is rare that little, as an adjective, is used in a positive light. But, it truly can be.

Other phrases have the implication that little is, in fact good. In the 40's and 50's Bryl-creem advertised, "A little dab'll do you."

And we have all wanted a little bit of space, or breathing room, or time alone, or down time. Meaning that a little of any of those would be good. And as children many of us received hours of pleasure from our little red wagons.

Well, little is not only an adjective, it is a name - not just a nickname either. La Harpe resident, Sonny Little, son of Debbie and Cole Little, at 5' 1" / 80 lbs, has heard, seen and overcome much of the negative connotations commonly associated with the negative side.

"I have usually been the smallest one on the team or in my class, right now I am the smallest on the basketball team," said Little, the Illini-West freshman cager. "But, I just go out there and do my best."

His mom said, "His size has never really bothered him that much. There have been times when he wished he was taller, but as a general rule he is okay with it. As a matter of fact he has had a really big growth spurt this year."

Little not only plays basketball, but has participated in track, football, baseball, and even boxing. His play at free safety on the freshman football team is what caught the attention of this reporter.

Illini-West was playing the Aledo-Westmer Green Dragons and one of the Dragon's receivers caught a pass near the Illini-West bench and the next thing the crowd saw was Little, applying a vicious hit, driving the receiver off of his feet, out of bounds and to the ground.

The receiver was slow to get up and a roar went up on the side-line and in the stands for Little.

"I have always thought being small has made me stronger. I really don't worry about it, so it has never really been a factor," continued Little. "There are other things that help me be a better athlete, I have good depth perception, and I am close to the ground, so I can see and move better than most of the bigger guys."

When asked about nicknames he said, "Since my name is Little, I have not had many, but I did participate in boxing and there was a coach who had boxed professionally that called me Tiger, and that stuck for awhile."

Tiger might be the perfect name; he is aggressive as an athlete and well known in the halls at Illini-West. As he walks down the those hallways, you can hear his named being called from all directions, "Hey Sonny," or "What's goin' on dude," never a negative word.

He has a perpetual smile on his face, and is liked by all. In a sports community that typically says he's too small, or can't make it because of his size, he continues to succeed. "I am going to concentrate on baseball this year, I ran track in Jr. High, but I want to focus on baseball."

"I really like all the sports, but football is by far my favorite," pointed out Little.

So, as you are passing the gym, football field, or baseball diamond, stop and take in the action and remember if Little is playing, a little dab, may not be enough!